Economy likely showed strength at the end of 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — Economists are predicting that economic growth results being announced today will show solid results.

The government will make its first of three estimates of economic growth for the October-December quarter. Economists are forecasting an annual growth rate of 3.3 percent, after an even stronger 4.1 percent rate for July through September.

Most economists think 2014 will produce the strongest growth since the recession officially ended in June 2009. Many foresee GDP growth of 3 percent or better.

For all of 2013, analysts think the economy grew about 1.9 percent. That would be below the 2.8 percent growth for 2012 as measured by the gross domestic product. GDP represents the country's total output of goods and services.

A key reason for their optimism is an improved outlook for the government sector.

This year, economists also think the economy will get a lift from continued gains in hiring.

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